Cleveland Browns are in a great spot at the quarterback position for the first time in a long time. Brandon Weeden has displayed a strong accurate arm and just has to learn the offense better. Colt McCoy, originally thought to be an automatic afterthought, has displayed the growth the Browns hoped would be there. Colt McCoy has had multiple challenges since becoming a Brown, overcoming concussions, coaching changes and a shortened offseason.
Colt McCoy has shown a much better understanding of the offense this past week against the second unit yet again. One can't ignore his elusiveness in the pocket and his understanding of where to go with the ball, a combination he lacked last year. The better he plays in the preseason, the more value he will have on the open market. Cleveland needs to be selfish and keep Colt in a Browns uniform this season. There may be teams that make Cleveland offers as the quarterback herd thins itself out due to injuries. If Cleveland is looking out for their own best interest they should keep Colt in a backup role and give Seneca Wallace the green light to move on.
Colt McCoy's heart and ego know that he could be a starter somewhere, but it is not this year. He would benefit from getting some buzz around his play. If there is one constant in football it is that quarterbacks get hurt. Colt is an exceptional backup for Weeden. Weeden is also not proven so why would the Browns get rid of an improving Colt McCoy for a late-round draft pick?
Colt's value may climb if he has a strong camp and plays well in spot duty this year. Colt could find himself with the ability to go to a better team if he continues improving his accuracy and does some good things this year when he gets the chance.
The biggest change in McCoy's game seems to be his demeanor. It appears that Colt McCoy has finally become an NFL quarterback. By that I mean that I think he realizes that if most of his dropped passes were caught last year, Brandon Weeden might not even be a Brown. It has been said that McCoy is holding players more accountable. He expects players to do their jobs and if that means catching passes, then do it. There is no more, "my bad" when coming back to the huddle. When the drive-killing penalties reared their head in the preseason Detroit game, Colt McCoy was visibly upset. He knows that the only things people are looking at right now are third-down conversions and touchdowns. He desperately wants the team to start winning and knows little mistakes lead to big drive-killers.
McCoy wants to be in Cleveland. His best chance to start is in Cleveland. Regardless of Brandon Weeden being picked in the first round at No. 22 the Browns need to win. The first guy up will be Weeden but he has to hold off Colt McCoy who has gone into Baltimore and Pittsburgh and battled. Colt wants another crack at the Ravens and Steelers.
Let's be upfront about Brandon Weeden—the Browns did not get Brandon Weeden, they lost out on Robert Griffin III. When the Browns missed out on RGIII they had to settle for Brandon Weeden. Weeden has done an admirable job and is getting better with each snap. The cold hard truth is the Browns have to start Weeden because he will be 29 years old by the time the season is underway. He is in the "now-or-never" category. There is no reason for Cleveland to get rid of a quarterback when the starter is an unproven 29-year-old. The Browns are not going to wait till Weeden gets good. He has to get good now and not five weeks from now. If Weeden does not get the job done, they will go to Colt McCoy. Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren no longer have a hands-off owner. The new owner is going to either want to win now, or get people in that can. If Weeden does not produce wins and not just close games they may tell Colt to start warming up the arm.
Brandon Weeden's arm is sharp and strong, where McCoy revealed he is just now getting his shoulder back to 100 percent. One thing you can say about Browns fans is they are fiercely loyal and Colt McCoy has embraced the city of Cleveland, his teammates and the entire organization. If you ask Browns fans, many of them probably want to not only keep Colt McCoy but give him a fair shot to beat out Weeden. Colt just needs to keep shining in the preseason and keep his head down and wait. The chance will come for him at some point, and he needs to be ready, not so much to beat out Weeden but to create another opportunity down the road.
I for one think Colt McCoy has earned the right to be there when the Browns turn the corner. He has paid his ticket in concussions, late hits, losing records, changing coaches and ever-changing playbooks. Colt is showing the loyalty that the city of Cleveland wishes its former Ohio grown icon would have shown for the Cavaliers. I know in pro sports nobody is owed anything, but Colt McCoy has taken all his chips and bet on Cleveland and he has at the very least earned a spot on that 53 man roster to help right the ship.
Brandon Weeden can come in and be anointed the starter, but successful teams have two QBs ready to go that can carry them through choppy waters when the starter goes down. Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler for the Giants, Roger Staubach and Danny White for the Cowboys, and Bob Griese was hurt most of the Dolphins' undefeated season and Earl Morrall got them through a good portion of it. In more resent memory the Browns' last playoff appearance was courtesy of Tim Couch, but Kelly Holcomb also had to deliver to get the team there.
The Browns do not need to do any favors for any other teams by trading for some magic beans by way of late-round picks. Keep developing young Colt McCoy and Thaddeus Lewis. Develop talent in house and let McCoy finish growing to see what he can become. If anything, Brandon Weeden has allowed McCoy time to develop his game. If Colt McCoy is destined to be a backup in the NFL, he can be the Browns' version of Charlie Batch, dependable and always ready.
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